Number of reported anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes decreases in Northern Ireland

While there was a drop in recorded anti-LGBTQ+ hate incidents and crimes compared to the previous year, they were still at their second-highest levels since the data series began in 2004/05.

Police Service of Northern Ireland badge hung up on a gravel wall.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

According to figures released by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), there has been a decrease in the number of recorded anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes in the country. The statistics published encompass reports from the 12 months from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, and are compared against those gathered from the previous year.

According to information shared on Thursday, August 31, the number of incidents and crimes motivated by sexual orientation dropped from 465 to 413 and 333 to 271, respectively. Although decreasing from the previous year, the figures are at their second-highest levels since the data series began in 2004/05.

In relation to transgender identity incidents and crimes, these fell from 74 to 61 and 41 to 40.

In general, there were fewer hate incidents recorded in Northern Ireland across each motivation strand, including race, disability and religion, with the exception of sectarian crimes.

There were 34 fewer racist incidents and 21 fewer racist crimes recorded during the period, with disability incidents reducing from 131 to 122, and crimes falling from 106 to 81. Additionally, faith and religion-based incidents dropped from 66 to 36, and crimes decreased from 51 to 24.

Sectarian incidents and crimes were at their highest levels since 2016, with 1,219 and 913 recorded, respectively.


Despite the mostly positive trends, hate crimes are still an issue in Northern Ireland, and earlier this month, the PSNI opened an investigation into “No Irish No Gay” graffiti in Lurgan. It is not the first time that the phrase has appeared, and by speaking to local residents, authorities learned that it might not have been newly painted but rather there “for a number of years” and never removed.

Speaking about the incident, Alliance Councillor Peter Lavery expressed worry about the slogan resurfacing.

“It’s very concerning, I seen stencils did go up and around Mourneview a year or two ago, and they were reported and removed at the time,” he said. “But it’s very worrying this is now becoming a regular occurrence.”

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